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Chopin: Ballade 4 (Read 5342 times)

Offline Matthias

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Chopin: Ballade 4
« on: February 09, 2004, 03:18:54 PM »
Has anyone got an idea how fast the 4th ballade should be played.

piano sheet music of Ballade 4


Offline dj

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #1 on: February 10, 2004, 06:28:58 AM »
well the fact that ur asking probably means u shouldn't tackle a piece of this difficulty yet. since there is no metronome setting given on this piece, the speed is left in part to the interpretation of the performer, and if you listen to different recordings of the piece, u'll find that different pianists do play it at slightly different speeds....and then of course there is rubato and tempo changes and such so the piece is not the same speed throughout. anyway good luck with whatever prompted you to make this post :)
rach on!

Offline allchopin

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 08:32:31 PM »
I start at ~60
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline krenske

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #3 on: February 13, 2004, 09:47:20 AM »
Well....
Can I ask if anyone agrees with this?
It seems to me that after a wonderful introduction (angels wafting, according to Cortot), and a beautiful theme and its development, through many exquisite moments and a collosal crescendo... Chopin's 3 ff chords (v, v/v, v) come as a really uninspired banality. Next time i play this piece i for one am going to insert something else there
8)
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline Matthias

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #4 on: February 13, 2004, 03:02:29 PM »
I like those 3 ff chords. To me it looks like it is a surprise, no one expected it right there. It's powerfull, exact what he needed, to start the silence (the pp chords)

Offline allchopin

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #5 on: February 13, 2004, 11:10:18 PM »
Quote
Chopin's 3 ff chords (v, v/v, v) come as a really uninspired banality. Next time i play this piece i for one am going to insert something else there

Well sure, go right ahead, if you don't plan on keeping your life after the concert.  
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline robert_henry

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #6 on: February 14, 2004, 04:07:34 AM »
You don't like those three chords because you don't understand them or their purpose.  Don't assume that the flaw is Chopin's.  Just do some more thinking about them.

Robert Henry

Offline allchopin

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #7 on: February 14, 2004, 07:23:40 AM »
Quote
You don't like those three chords because you don't understand them or their purpose.  Don't assume that the flaw is Chopin's.  Just do some more thinking about them.

Robert Henry

Please explain.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline robert_henry

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #8 on: February 14, 2004, 08:51:29 AM »
No explanation should be necessary.  Consider that Dinu Lipatti practiced this Ballade for four years before performing it.  Because of the technical difficulties? No, but because he felt he needed four years to understand Chopin's genius.  This is late Chopin; he knew exactly what he was doing, and when we fail to understand why a composer does something we should seek to understand it rather than brush it off as "uninspired banality."  It is up to Krenske to solve the mystery of that passage, and it begins with humility and an open mind.

Robert Henry

Offline krenske

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #9 on: February 14, 2004, 11:48:38 AM »
Well...
no offence but i think id rather have another bottle of red and improvise something in this "no go" zone. Isn't that what piano playing is all about? we can all ask chopin when we arrive in hell [he dated a man]. but i think he and liszt [who didn't date men] would both prefer to invent new cadenzas and such in each other's works. perhaps being in such awe of a "composer" as you suggest means that you are not yet at one with the music, and not yet ready to present it according to the composers highest wishes. ;D
In other words, if you feel you understand the music, and have lived it, the work is no longer out there in the holy ether, but you are on a par spiritually with the composer. HOPEFULLY.
Imagine Chopin had just handed you the manuscript, had sat down while you played it, and you had offered a suggestion about something. Might he have said "brilliant, do this if you like"? or would he say "no, my scores are like the bible and you must worship them and insult those who dont"?

PS on the topic of an "open mind"? hehe There's more than one view, just like there's more than one concert pianist. Ive opened my mind to changing things i don't like. Maybe you could open yours to a world where people have the right to follow their personal tastes, without suffering artistic put-downs and subjected to professional ridicule. Although, as Nietzsche said "The most powerful thing is a 'conviction'!" and well done.... YOUR OPINION IS VERY TWENTIETH CENTURY!
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #10 on: February 14, 2004, 04:38:30 PM »
Quote
we can all ask chopin when we arrive in hell [he dated a man]


Tell me you don't think George Sand is a man...
Ed

Offline bernhard

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #11 on: February 14, 2004, 05:33:55 PM »
Quote


Tell me you don't think George Sand is a man...
Ed


He should still go to hell: They were living in sin... ;)

And there was some funny business going on between him and his classmate friend Titus Woyciechowski.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #12 on: February 14, 2004, 08:04:36 PM »
Quote


Tell me you don't think George Sand is a man...
Ed

Yeah, speaking of open minds.

Actually, I think he's thinking of George Eliot. ;)
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline robert_henry

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #13 on: February 14, 2004, 09:30:02 PM »
I am sorry that you chose to accept my comments in the worst possible way.  I am not attacking you.  

The hectic speed of the world today seems to disallow us the patience to meditate on the mysteries of art - we want answers now, and if we can't have answers now, let's just change the question.

I too have been in situations where I can't figure out why a composer wrote someting a certain way, or how I should interpret a phrase that on its surface doesn't make sense.  Years ago, I made a similar comment about a Brahms piece, and a great musician said that I didn't like it because I didn't understand it.  That comment pissed me off at the time, but I humbled myself and thought about what he said.   It was up to me to discover its purpose. The concept of a humble, open mind...

How many recordings of this piece have you heard?  How many times have you listened to each one?  How many dissertations about the fourth ballade have you read?  How many theoretical papers have you studied?  How many articles on this piece have you read?   Have you performed a Schenkerian analysis on this piece (probably the best way to appreciate it)?  How many great musicians and teachers have you discussed this with?  How many years have you spent practicing this piece?  Have you thought about those chords in relation to not only the fourth ballade itself, but as a statement within all four ballades?  How many editions of the ballades have you studied?  Have you studied the sketches of the piece?

Whatever your answers are, do more.

Does the above list seem unreasonable?  An artist in search of truth wouldn't think so.  If you have done all of the above, and still don't understand the passage, then study it some more.  The desire to change a passage of a masterpiece because you don't like or understand it is immaturity.  You may NEVER understand that section.  That's ok.  There are some passage that still perplex me, but I still wish to study them.  Remember, it's the the journey that makes us grow, not the destination.

"id rather improvise something in this "no go" zone. Isn't that what piano playing is all about?"

No, that's what improvisation is about.  "Piano playing" depends on the stlye of music one is playing.  Classical music allows for expressive freedom within the bounds of the score.  You are wanting to apply jazz and pop principles to classical music.  

As DJ said to Matthias, Kresnke, if you asking this question then you aren't artistically mature enough yet to perform this piece; not because you can't play the notes, but because you are apparently unwilling to spend any amount of time studying and discovering the secrets of this piece.  You have to accept that the principles of classical music apply to you, too.  Sure, you are free to perform any piece as you like, but you will not grow as an artist.  In my experience, those passages that I fail to immediately understand become my favorite parts of the piece.  Maybe this one will become yours.

Robert Henry


Offline krenske

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #14 on: February 18, 2004, 10:43:11 AM »
you're soooo lofty you sound like you sh*t marbles
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline schnabels_grandson

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #15 on: February 18, 2004, 12:03:57 PM »
Nice quote from Amadeus, but Robert is right.  If you don't understand the language of the music and the ideas and emotions expressed in it, how can you expect to be able to relate it to an audience?        
You don't have to eat garbage to know it's garbage.-Old Proverb
A good composer does not imitate; he steals.- Igor Stravinsky

Offline robert_henry

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #16 on: February 18, 2004, 12:09:30 PM »
Krenske,

The advice I give is usually to the point, and I'm sorry if my advice has offended you.  I retract nothing; I stand behind every word.  

However, I have not been rude to you, and I would appreciate the same courtesy.  If you take issue with a specific statement I have made, then address it and give reasons why you disagree.  Insults, especially transparent ones, aren't constructive.  Please keep the forum civil.

My advice, in a nutshell, is that we all should continue to learn, no matter what our level or age, how many degrees we have, or how many halls we've played in.  That means we must activate our minds and hearts to accept criticism, advice, and challenging ideas.  Already in this thread, you have closed your mind to two things: 1. learning why Chopin wrote something the way he did, and 2. my advice about how to overcome this obstacle.  Who is being "lofty?"  

This board has over 2,500 members.  If my comments in this thread were unreasonable, then there is ample opportunity for someone to correct me.  

If you would like to resume constructive dialogue, I am willing.  Otherwise, I have nothing further to offer you in this thread.

Best wishes,

Robert Henry

Offline ilovemusic

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #17 on: February 18, 2004, 05:52:14 PM »
Robert is right. It takes time to appreciate
(some) classical music, if it does not lie easily in the ear.
This makes classical music  very interesting.

It takes lots and lots of time to compose a piece, and I strongly believe (especially Chopin (even more late chopin)) the piece is very well thought about.

And also applies to general appreciatio of art. For me, a painting I know nothing about is just a pretty picture, but deepening the knowledge of the art and the artist increases the appreciation ).

(Think of it  like learning to drink wine or coffee (ah, coffee), which also comes with time. (View this remark as a joke).

Chitch

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #18 on: February 18, 2004, 07:02:48 PM »
Nice recording of Rachmaninoff's 3rd Concerto, RH.

Offline Contessa

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #19 on: February 19, 2004, 02:28:06 AM »
I don't know.  I have to say that I think Krenske has a point.
Perhaps he is a vulgar man, but I'm sure his sense of the music isn't (just to paraphrase Amadeus again).

I, of course believe one has to understand the music to fully appreciate it, and I'm sure you're a fantastic pianist RH, however perhaps not everyone likes to be evangelised to.  Perhaps Krenske actually has a far greater understanding of the music than any of us, perhaps we are supposed to look past the ethereal and say, yes, those chords really are dead boring.  Maybe Chopin really couldn't think of anything else (don't flame me! I said MAYBE.)

An open mind shouldn't just be something Krenske needs to look to, but perhaps, with regard to the comments Krenske has made, RH might like to adopt one also.  We shouldn't treat all music like it's come from divine inspiration, just because someone famous wrote it.

Of course, I could be "full of sh*t" too, and therefore, ignore this post.  Am only trying to be diplomatic.

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #20 on: February 19, 2004, 04:37:46 AM »
The reason for not tampering with the written score is that it is someone else's art. If he wants to do it in the privacy of his own home, fine. But it is completely immoral to take someone else's art, change it, and then pass it off for the original. Also, we must remeber that Chopin was a musical genius and to assume that one can change his music for the better is very narcissistic.

Krenske, if you are going to say something like "Chopin is in hell because he dated a man," then don't quote Nietzsche. It is highly hippocritical and you have no idea what you are talking about.

Chitch

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #21 on: February 20, 2004, 04:38:48 AM »
Quote
The reason for not tampering with the written score is that it is someone else's art.

Hence, the wide spread hatrid of Schirmer. Hey maybe someone should "re-touch" the Mona Lisa to make it look "better".

Offline krenske

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #22 on: February 21, 2004, 11:30:05 AM »
ive got a spray can
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline Contessa

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #23 on: February 23, 2004, 01:15:54 AM »
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...Next time i play this piece i for one am going to insert something else there
8)


I have a feeling we have all missed something here.  I really must say that I think Krenske might be making fun of us.

Does this look like a SERIOUS declaration of one's "malevolent" (as Chopiabin and RH might have us believe) deviation from the score?

Perhaps he just wants us to make a big fuss over something he was merely saying "tongue in cheek".

Perhaps that was evident from the moment he posted it.  Only it was then misinterpreted by others, and subsequently the only reason he is now defending his stance, is because you have all taken his humour so seriously?

Oh, btw Krenske, I have a copy of the Classic novel "Le Père Goriot" by the Legendary Balzac I should really like to see made into a film...

Shagdac

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #24 on: February 23, 2004, 07:31:56 AM »
I have to agree w/ Chopiabin. How can one possibly hope to improve upon that of genious??? As for the other, I chose not to dignify that with a reponse.  :-X


Shag


Offline bernhard

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #25 on: February 23, 2004, 01:30:05 PM »
Quote


I have a feeling we have all missed something here.  .


Indeed: To answer Matthias original question. ;)

This is an interesting thread nevertheless.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline trunks

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Re: Chopin: Ballade 4
«Reply #26 on: April 15, 2004, 06:44:01 AM »
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. . . we can all ask chopin when we arrive in hell [he dated a man]. but i think he and liszt [who didn't date men]  . . .


It would be nice if we refrained from this sort of (implied or explicit) discrimination against any minority group. I, for one, find this bad taste and very disrespectful.>:(

Let's keep this forum one on piano and music, be nice and respect everybody's preference, whatever.:)
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist